You’ve probably Googled this before: “What is managed hosting?”. While the results can be overwhelming, there’s an underlying problem: “managed” is an overloaded term, with no single company using the same meaning. Here is a clear definition – one confirmed by industry analysts – of what “managed” means in the hosting world. More importantly, we’ll share how Media Temple implements “managed,” i.e. what you should expect “managed” to mean when it comes to our hosting solutions.
Certain characteristics must be met for a hosting solution to be considered ”managed,” – the full extent of which may vary depending on the type of hosting (i.e. WordPress, Shared, VPS, or Cloud). However, these characteristics describe the software managing the hosting solution – and its performance:
- OS installation and updates;
- Application installation and updates;
- Malware scanning (and cleanup);
- Performance monitoring;
- And, finally, backups.
At Media Temple, we made all of our hosting solutions fit the definition provided above – from WordPress and shared hosting to VPS and cloud hosting services for AWS.
As an example, this is how our recently-relaunched managed shared hosting platform, Grid, matches the definition of “managed” hosting:
- Media Temple manages and patches the shared platform’s underlying OS so all customers benefit.
- A catalog of 20 one-click apps are automatically updated by an app installer, which ensures users enjoy the most recent version of said apps.
- SiteLock’s Secure Malware Alert and Removal Tool (SMART) proactively scans customers’ websites for vulnerabilities. SMART will automatically remove any detected threats. In other words, a user will never have to worry about malware attacks.
- Websites’ performance are closely monitored and their response time is displayed in the Grid panel.
- Built-in 30-day file and database backups — with the ability to restore individual files with one click.
As said earlier, the definition of “managed” hosting may be met in a slightly different way or include more elements, depending on the type of hosting solution. For example, the generally accepted definition of Managed WordPress includes the aforementioned bullet points: plus 1) multiple tiers of caching (architecture), and 2) a set of developer-friendly tools (software). Thus, when it came to our Managed WordPress solution, we made sure it included two tiers of caching (Varnish and Memcached), and developer tools like WP-CLI, SSH, FTP, as well as site cloning and staging.
Hopefully, this post helps clarify any confusion regarding managed hosting. To recap, “managed” is really about managing the server through software. While Media Temple automates this, some companies may do this manually and include (or exclude) some other facets of system administration such as configuration, performance tuning, to name a few. Look carefully and make sure you are picking the right solutions for your business needs. In our case, we use “fully managed” to articulate all of the elements of software management AND the hands-on support of CloudTech for additional SysAdmin activity (such as configuration and performance tuning).
It’s amazing how one word, “managed,” can have such an impact on both users’ understanding of a given hosting solution and what the web host behind it is really committing to offering them.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to get back to you!